Through our Essex Interns scheme, you gain access to a talented pool of students and recent graduates who can inject enthusiasm and fresh approaches into your business.

They can help you plan or deliver a specific project, or simply provide extra resource for a busy workload. An intern could allow you to kick start a strategic project that might have been put on hold or not completed due to budget or time restrictions, and free up and support your permanent staff.

Taking on an intern can not only give your business a real boost but, at the same time, you'll be providing an intern with invaluable work experience which can considerably enhance their long-term employability.

How it works

What is an internship?

An internship must be a genuine paid work opportunity, which includes an element of learning and development. This may simply be the opportunity for the intern to gain a better understanding of the business environment, by allowing them to apply their knowledge in a workplace setting, or could involve the development of more comprehensive project-specific skills.

Internships can be part-time during term time and full-time during vacations and on graduation. They can vary in length from around six weeks to one year.


Interns must be paid at least the national minimum wage, but we would encourage you to offer a rate of pay appropriate to the calibre of candidates and the level of work undertaken.

What we do

Our team will proactively promote your vacancy and send you a list of applicants.

This service is only available if your internship is offered primarily to Essex students or graduates. If you have an internship that you are promoting to universities throughout the UK, please use our free CareerHub vacancy board to advertise it.

Recruitment process

  1. Complete the online registration form. The internship will need to be approved by our Internships Team. Decisions will be based on national best practice guidelines and internal scheme criteria.
  2. If the internship is approved we will promote your vacancy for you and aim to provide you with a list of suitable applicants in around ten working days.
  3. You choose who to interview and whether to offer any of the applicants the position.
  4. Let us know who you're employing and we'll draw up an agreement that both you and the intern will sign.
  5. If we do not have any suitable applicants for you we will advise you of this and discuss steps we can take to attract more applications.
  6. We'll stay in touch during the internship to make sure it's running smoothly.


Benefits for your business

  • Increase productivity: Get short-term support and free your employees from side-projects, enabling them to focus on more creative or higher-level strategic tasks.
  • Gain fresh perspectives: Interns can bring new energy and fresh insights to your business, and new perspectives on problems. They can encourage innovation and bring new skills and knowledge to your workforce. A new and motivated member of staff can also invigorate your team, particularly within SMEs.
  • Source future employees: An internship programme is an effective year-round recruitment tool. Use summer and part-time term-time internships to provide an ongoing pipeline of potential future employees.
  • Test-drive talent: A graduate internship can serve as a trial period for recruitment to a permanent post, with no obligation.
  • Develop current staff: Graduate and student internships present opportunities for your existing team to develop their supervisory, management, mentoring and training skills.
  • Give back to the community: Hiring interns not only helps students in your community get started in their careers - it enhances the local workforce as a whole. Internships help to retain graduate talent in the local area.
  • Promote your business: Many top students apply for graduate jobs with big national firms, not always realising the career pathways available in local SMEs. When seeking internships, candidates prefer SMEs, feeling that they'll get more hands-on training and real experience in smaller organisations. Many then stay in the SME sector.

Case studies

Creative Quills, Colchester

Creative Quills is a content marketing agency that specialises in strategic thinking and engaging written content. We combine clear, insightful messaging with that little spark of creativity which inspires people to act. Communication can make or break a big idea. That’s why we specialise in supporting B2B and tech-focused organisations. We want to help the big ideas succeed.

"Working with Essex Interns has always been a pleasure. They simplify the process so that you can focus on finding the most talented applicants. The internship programme has been integral to the growth of our business. We will continue to offer opportunities through Essex Interns as we know the impact that interns can have."
Tom Broome Founder

Signals, Colchester

Signals are a centre for creative digital learning. We specialise in film education, digital art and use media production for social, learning and creative outcomes. We support creativity and learning at all levels, including working with schools, community groups, the cultural and third sector and new talent. We do this through the provision of courses, project work, production and training.

"Essex Interns give small organisations like Signals access to incredible talent, which lifts the quality of our work. It has been a pleasure to work with Essex Interns, and when circumstances allow we’re keen to bring more interns to work with Signals."
Frazer Merrick Educations Coordinator

CNN Training Consultants

CNN Training Consultants is a nationwide skills training provider, specialising in the delivery of Health & Safety and Construction qualifications. Group HR Manager Laura Bridger recognised that an intern could be a viable recruitment option. They recruited BSc Accounting and Management graduate Hiren Thandi as a Finance and Accounts Intern.

"The communication from Essex Interns has been fantastic. They kept in contact with how the interview process went and provided guidance which showed there was support if needed. The benefits of having interns in the business are huge. This has certainly been the case with Hiren as she has brought diversity and a fresh way of thinking. This has been a really positive experience that we would repeat." 
Laura Bridger Group hr manager


AIXR is the international trade body for the immersive industries that aims to provide to support through educational initiatives and their flagship award show: the VR Awards. The company took on BA English Literature graduate Luke Roberge as a Marketing and Events Assistant Intern, and have now made him a permanent employee.

“I heard about the programme through a friend of mine who ran a copy-writing business alone, but when I saw him he had about five employees, and his business was growing rapidly…For smaller companies looking to grow but aren’t exactly sure about how to do that, this programme is extremely beneficial. A client of mine also got involved and took on an Essex Intern.”
Jamie Van Amstel Director

St. Vincent’s Family Project, London

St. Vincent’s Family Project (SVFP) supports vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Westminster. The charity employed an Essex Intern to help them to accomplish their organisation’s goals. Zamena Suleiman, a BSc Psychology graduate, fitted well within the team as a Project Support Officer Intern.

“SVFP has a positive experience with interns overall. They bring a level of enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to the team. Most interns have a can do attitude and are willing to get involved in different projects which helps to reduce staff’s workload.”
Marie Njumba Volunteer Coordinator

Mercury Theatre, Colchester

The Mercury Theatre has been working with the University of Essex to employ student and graduate interns. This regional theatre sees hiring interns as a way to give back to the local community. BA English Language and Linguistics graduate Nathan Garwood is now a permanent member of staff having started as a Marketing Project Officer Intern.

“Essex Interns has a pool of intelligent and hardworking students and recent graduates who are looking for experience in their chosen career. I’d recommend Essex Interns to an employer as it is an efficient way to gain extra resource into your organisation, and at the same time you are helping a young person take their first steps onto the career ladder. It is a win-win situation!”
Rhianna Howard Senior Marketing Officer

National Literacy Trust, London

National Literacy Trust is an independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed, working in the UK's poorest communities. Recent BA History graduate Michael Flynn, who worked as a Communities Programme Project Assistant, is now a permanent member of the team.

“The Essex Interns who have worked with the National Literacy Trust have been universally bright, hardworking and keen to both do and learn. They are a fantastic way to add capacity to a team, bring an outside perspective and, if you’re lucky, help you find a great new member of the team.”
Jason Vit Head of Local Areas

Find out how these employers benefited from recruiting an intern to their organisation.

Invest Essex

Invest ESSEX is an investment promotion agency (IPA) and business support provider. They recruited BA Modern History and Politics graduate James Cook as a Marketing Assistant to build up their portfolio of case studies and business profiles. He now works permanently for the organisation.

“James has managed to swiftly bring his own style to the businesses he has written about. He’s been professional from the outset and is very much a valued member of the team. He continues to add to the marketing outputs and consistently exceeds expectations.  We have previously employed interns from the University of Essex and found them to be excellent employees, ready and keen to learn about business, and always bringing a positive dynamic to the team”.
Jacinda Love Marketing Manager

TT Education

TT Education Ltd is a multi-award winning school improvement company aimed at empowering teachers and improving outcomes for primary school children. Chelsea Millward, a BSc Finance and Mathematics student, worked as a Finance Assistant Intern and is now a permanent staff member.

“We were a very small organisation when we first approached Essex Interns a few years ago and were looking for people with relevant skill sets to help us and also to provide work experience for them.  Other employers should definitely consider Essex Interns as there is a real pool of talent at the University. There are lots of students in degrees who would fit nicely in the type of jobs employers are looking to fill.”  
David Maytham Managing Director
Get in touch
Essex Interns Team Careers Services, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ

Work placements

Interested in other options? Offer a work placement that an undergraduate or postgraduate student can complete as part of their course.